Biology Reference Resources (General)

Biology Reference

These selected works and websites will help you to quickly find a definition, explanation of a process, or a brief introduction to a concept. 

Grzimek's animal life encyclopedia (available online through the library)

Cooper's comprehensive environmental desk reference
GE123 .C64 1996 4th Floor Stacks

Henderson's dictionary of biology
QH302.5 .H45 2011 5th Floor Stacks

Oxford dictionary of biochemistry and molecular biology
QD415.A25 O94 2000 5th Floor Stacks

The dictionary of cell and molecular biology
View online version

Treatise on geochemistry
QE515 .T69 2004  Reference

Magill's survey of science. Life science series
QH307.2 .M34 1991 5th Floor Stacks
This huge reference work focuses on processes rather than organisms. Each entry has a bibliography for further reading.

Encyclopedia of the biosphere
QH343.4 .B5613 2000 5th Floor, Oversize

Dictionary of environment & ecology
View online version

Encyclopedia of biodiversity
QH541.15 .B56 E53 2001 5th Floor, Oversize

Encyclopedia of environmental microbiology
QR100 .B58 2002 5th Floor, Oversize

Encyclopedia of bioethics
View online version

World of microbiology and immunology
View online version

Using the biological literature : a practical guide
QH 303.6 .D38 2013 Reference

QH 303.6 .D38 2002 5th Floor Stacks




Biology Websites (General)

Biology Web Sites

Catalog of Life
The Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life is planned to become a comprehensive catalogue of all known species of organisms on Earth.

The present Catalogue is compiled with sectors provided by 66 taxonomic databases from around the world. Many of these contain taxonomic data and opinions from extensive networks of specialists, so that the complete work contains contributions from more than 3,000 specialists from throughout the taxonomic profession.

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Taxonomy Browser
National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Taxonomy Browser. Contains the names of all organisms that are represented in the genetic databases with at least one nucleotide or protein sequence.

Animal  Diversity Web
Animal Diversity Web is an online encyclopedia with a large searchable encyclopedia of the natural history of animals.

Plants Database
The PLANTS Database provides standardized information about the vascular plants, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, and lichens of the U.S. and its territories.

ScienceDaily Biology News
Trying to come up with a good research topic? See what's going on in Biology news.

Journal Articles

Journal Articles

Biology Journal Articles (General)

Journal articles are where you will find empirical studies, literature reviews, meta-analysis, and other types of scholarly communication. In order to search through the scientific literature, databases have been created to be finding tools.

CSUSM science journals
For those who like to browse a list, this is an Excel spreadsheet of all CSUSM periodicals (print and electronic) in call number ranges GB, GC, GE, Q, R, S, & T. Search the library catalog by Title if you do not find the title you are looking for.

Tutorial for PubMed (Written) by the National Library of Medicine

PubMed Quick Tours (Video) by the National Library of Medicine - Brief tutorials on specific topics


Most Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly
PubMed @ CSUSM

The premier database of world biomedical literature on clinical medicine and preclinical research. Medline provides a more user-friendly interface, but less updated content.

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1966 to current All
Biological Abstracts

A complete collection of bibliographic references covering life science and biomedical research literature published from more than 4,000 journals internationally.

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It 1969 to current Most
Web of Science

Contains citation Idexes for Science, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Book Citations from 2004 to present. Select "Web of Science Core Collection" to conduct cited reference search.

Links to full-text via Get-It 1975 to current All
Google Scholar CSUSM

Link to citations and full-text from your CSUSM Library databases and beyond!

Some full-text; plus links to full-text via Get-It current to current All

Provides full text access to over 1,000 journals covering all fields of science.

Full-text 1995 to current Most
Wiley Online Library

Access to abstracts and full text from journals, reference works, databases, and books. Disciplines covered include the life sciences, chemistry, physics, mathematics, psychology, earth sciences, education, social sciences, humanities, business, and mathematics

Some full-text 1996 to current Most

Also Useful

Database Full Text Coverage Scholarly

The authoritative database on all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines; includes abstracts for books & journals.

Some full-text 1500 to current Most
American Chemical Society

Access to full text articles from more than 30 journals of the American Chemical Society

Full-text 1879 to current All

Search more than 200 leading titles in the biological, ecological, and environmental sciences.

Some full-text 2000 to current All

Contains (EXCEPT for the latest five years) core scholarly journals in sociology, history, economics, political science, mathematics, African-American & Asian studies, literature, humanities, music, and biological, health & general sciences.

Full-text 1838 to most recent five years Most
PubMed Central

This subset of PubMed consists solely of open access journals within PubMed, i.e. journals that do not require paid subscriptions. Many journals in this database are very technical and are for researchers in the field.

Full-text 1966 to current All



Books & eBooks at CSUSM

Books will give you background information and an overview on what you are researching. You need this information in order to provide context.

Physical & online books available at CSUSM can be located in the following ways:

  1. Search the Library Catalog (use dropdown left-hand side for search types: subject, author, etc.)
  2. Search for an e-book, by choosing an e-book database from the list and using the search bar to enter terms
    • Off-campus access requires log-in with CSUSM User ID and Password

Options to obtain books not located at CSUSM:

  1. Order books through CSU+
    • If you locate a book via OneSearch catalog and it states "Print version not available in the library" you can order the book via CSU+, which is a library borrowing service that includes all 23 CSU campus libraries.  It takes approximately 2-5 days to receive books from CSU+.
  2. Order books through InterLibrary Loan
    • You can search the collections of libraries world-wide by using WorldCat.  If you find a book you would like to order and verify that you cannot get it through CSUSM or CSUSM, you can fill out an InterLibrary Loan request.  Materials will take 5-10 days to arrive and can be picked up at our Library.


CSE Citation Styles

CSE Citation Styles

CSE Citation Style (General)

What is CSE Style?

Each discipline uses a different citation style. In Biology, the most commonly used style is CSE. CSE uses three different formats: citation-sequence, citation-name, and name-year -- you will want to check with your professor to see which format they prefer.

Citation-sequence: Citations are  included in a numbered list at the end of the paper, in the order in which they appear in the text. Within the text of your paper, use superscript numbers to refer to the corresponding citation in your citation list. 

Citation-name: Citations are included in a numbered list at the end of the paper in a numbered list, in alphabetical order by author last name. Within the text of your paper, use superscript numbers to refer to the corresponding citation in your list. 

Name-year: Citations are listed at the end of the paper in alphabetical order by author last name, but not numbered. Within the text of your paper, cite sources by using the author's last name followed by the year of publication in parentheses. For example: Jones (2005). 

CSE Tips

CSE uses journal title abbreviations:

A couple of examples:

Journal Article

Author AA, Author BB. Article title. Journal Abbrev. Year;volume(issues):pages. URL (if any). doi (if any).

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Author AA. Article title. Newspaper Title. Year Mo Date. URL.


Author AA, Author BB. Title of homepage/website. Place of publication: Publisher; Date of publication [dated updated; date accessed]. URL.

CSE Guides & Resources

These resources may provide you with additional help and examples.

CSE Manual at CSUSM Library

The most current version (eighth edition) of Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers was published in 2014.

Library copy (T11 .S386 2014)
The CSUSM Library owns a copy of the official CSE manual that you can consult in person.



Not sure how to write your citations?

Get started with this flow chart created by CSUSM librarians. 

How to Write a Citation: a flowchart